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Eivør – Enn (Season of Mist)

Imagine, if you will, an astronaut hovering above Earth. Still tethered to a space craft, they have been instructed to carry out maintenance work on some faulty satellites. The frustrated blue planet that us humans call home decides that now is the ideal opportunity to give the homo sapien representative a long awaited critique and food for thought.

Born in the Faroese village of Syðrugøta, that is surrounded by mountains and never too far from feeling the ocean’s waves, Eivør’s previous albums have displayed her inseparable connection with nature; anthropomorphizing it, reflecting on how like humans it has an extreme scale of personalities and using it as a metaphor for life’s struggles. With the assistance of compatriot Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs, Eivør uses the poet’s words and a stunning palette of ground-dwelling and space age sounds on 10th album Enn to give Earth a voice. Entirely in the Faroese language but English translations can be found online, the electro-cinematic Enn is a beautiful feast for the ears – in both its clean classical moments, as well as its clever electronic techniques. Another album that showcases Eivør’s talented musicianship.

Eivør is known for her vocal diversity – from ethereal chanting to throat singing – but breathtaking opener ‘Ein Klóta’ (A Planet) makes use of the operatic training that she was taught for five years in Iceland. The operatic voice swirls and echoes among contrasting calming piano to create the space environment that the aforementioned astronaut finds themself in. If Philip Glass composed the soundtrack to Gravity it might have sounded like this. The song is about what it would be like for a human to watch the Earth change from a distance and Eivør sings “The ocean-blue hush. A heart. Unmoored. Drifting away. Drifting without you. A planet unanchored. Drifting without me.” We take the Earth for granted, as if we have an automatic right to live here, and it is as if Eivør is imagining the Earth as a fed up landlord throwing humanity out for negligence. Subsequent track ‘Jarðartrá’ (Lust for the Earth) also features spiritual singing but pairs it with a triphop pulse and flashes of menacing electronic buzz. With vocals recorded at night in an abandoned school in Tjørnuvík  – a small hard-to-reach Faroese village with around 50 people – the perspective is switched to Earth, as it tells humans that they themselves mimic nature’s cycles and therefore are not superior. “Raise your eyes and behold me. Your true home. Listen to my lamention. Come lay.”

If you look at the mountains of Tjørnuvík where the album was recorded, you might wonder if there is something lurking in the caves that the isolated townfolk might fear. On Enn’s wow moment ‘Upp Úr Øskuni’(Rise From The Ashes) that demonstrates yet another side to Eivør’s versatile vocal range, the Faroese musician adopts a growling chant among rock guitars that the singer admitted she wanted to sound like witches conjuring up some powerful sisterhood force. “Sing to the darkness. I’m listening. We take our twin pledges.. Rise from the ashes. We ascend on tar-bright wings. Soar into the falling night. You’re my sister soul”. The rock edge – which is also heard on Lívsandin (Breath of Life) but that albeit has a more 80s Top Gun flavour – makes more sense when you find out that Eivør has recently joined the metal label Season of Mist.

Title track ‘Enn’ (Still) – which is over 7 minutes long – begins with an a capella siren song perhaps alluring soldiers into war, as the song is topically about global military conflicts. Yet in each verse Eivør admirably searches for an optimistic light within the gloom. “Terror sorrow crowns” becomes “Under cloudless heavens” and “cities bleeding” becomes “Still it glimmers”. The song features a rippling vocal motif that makes the song memorable.

But in the end on the beautiful yet spooky ‘Gaia’, the astronaut who has been given a telling off and A Christmas Carol-like visions of the consequences of humanity’s treatment of Earth is feeling apologetic. Wishing to express their appreciation to the planet that shelters them, they sing: “Offering me solace, carrying all of my cares. Knowing – I am but a visitor. Your face is my haven / As I am floating deep into space, departing your blue embrace. Knowing with you – I was a passer by.” Radio transmitter sounds can be heard, as if the spaceship’s captain is informing the astronaut that their job is done and it is time to leave. The astronaut will return to Earth with more than just money from a day’s work but also as an Earth disciple with messages to spread.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.